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Where are we? Where do we want to be? What are we willing to sacrifice?


The fact that we do not yet have even some of the basics (eg: k-mixer) leads me to conclude that we may never, at least in a form that we would like. Would it help (or even be possible) to hash through the possibilities trying to gain a general consensus that could then be presented to various players in a more cohesive fashion?


It seems to me like they would prefer to do an end-run around us.


Cheers, Wayne
 

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Writing a roadmap with a chinese-menu style list [pick one from list A, two from list B] isn't really possible because of the endless amount of options and desires out there.

- This guy wants to rip all DVDs and CDs, and have a mainframe-esque type setup b/c his apt is small, cable runs aren't that long, and multiple machines are irrelevant.

- The other guy wants the same thing, but in a client/server setup b/c his house is too big to have expensive cables all over.

- one guy doesn't want to rip everything, but is content with a 400-DVD changer as you don't need to waste time ripping, then waste time worrying about RAID5/backup strategy. He acknowledges it's slower and can only serve up one movie at a time, but he's single and has no competition for the TV. The other dude has a big family where everyone wants to watch something different at the same time.

- one person rents and doesn't want to rip up floor. the other one owns and doesn't mind wiring to get better quality

- these folks don't have an issue dropping $5-$8K on an HDTV. these other folks can't tell the difference between 480p and 720p and are happy with an EDTV. The last batch are ok with analog CRTs.


I could go on and on, but there's a limitless # of dimensions of people's values, much less options within those dimensions. To write any decent roadmap you'd first have to standardize on how to slice the pie [i.e., which dimensions], then work through that. No matter what tack you take, someone will not like it.


Makes more economic sense to do the end-run, "take options away from people", and pre-configure systems. Those who care enough about the components will do the legwork to create cohesion in any fashion they deem fit. Sure it'll take more work, but for some folks that's half the fun.
 

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Wayne,


I think its a great idea to assess and prioritize what is needed for HTPC's to become mainstream.


One of my beliefs is that tv/phone cabling will not be needed in the house of the future. With high speed mediums such as Gigabit and Firewire I can see phone, cable, satellite, hdtv(?) being piped to one machine and streamed in an on-demand fashion to every room in the house.


Here's my wishlist:


* Hardware PVR Card that writes to a high-quality streaming format using minimal resources

* Smart software RAM-DISK package that writes to the hard drive when resources are available. * Low powered thin clients that are configurable and make use of networked drives located elsewhere in the house

* Dedicated devices that make use of the above and connect to our audio/video hardware


ie. Dedicated device that encodes/decodes VGA signals into TCP or UDP allowing for longer cable runs


ie. Software DVD Audio player that streams music to an IP address. Any room in the house can decode this stream and play it with perfect sync to the rest of the rooms in the house.


ie. 3 PVR cards connected to 3 satellite receivers recording AND streaming 3 tv shows simultaneously. The RAM-DISK software oscillates between the three shows spending a minute to write to the disk and buffering any overflow.


And so on...


Obsidience

(Examples editted)
 
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